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Homeowner finds tricky stipulation from HOA on money-saving home upgrade: 'They can't just charge you money'

"It's a lack of knowledge on their part."

"It's a lack of knowledge on their part."

Photo Credit: iStock

Homeowners associations have been known to create dark clouds of uncertainty for people who want to install a common money-saving addition that harnesses the power of the sun. 

One Redditor recently turned to the r/solar community for answers after their HOA tied an unusual stipulation to their request.

"Have always wanted solar panels, but unfortunately, our HOA says that if we get solar panels they will no longer cover the management/repair of our roof and will need to remove it should we sell, or if they need to replace roofs in the complex," they explained

"Any advice on getting solar panels?" they asked, noting in a comment that the answer wasn't "technically" a no, but how the HOA was handling the situation raised concerns. 

Other Redditors had plenty of thoughts on the subject. 

"They can't just charge you money. There have to be REAL costs associated with the roof maintenance in order for you to be on the hook," one person said

"I had a similar issue with my townhome in which the HOA maintained the roof. The solution was an indemnity agreement," another person wrote

Several also pointed out that many states have laws to protect residents from being denied if the HOA was sneakily trying to prevent the addition of the panels, highlighting how it's possible for homeowners to get the results they want. 

HOAs are concerned with ensuring property values don't go downhill, so they are sometimes resistant to requests that impact the aesthetic of neighborhoods — even if those asks will help air quality by reducing pollution and saving homeowners time and money. Not only that, but real estate marketplace Zillow found that adding solar panels actually increases the value of homes by 4.1% on average.  

Rewilded yards, like solar panels, are another planet-friendly feature that can increase the value of properties. A little bit of knowledge can go a long way toward making the case for eco-friendly updates that HOAs might otherwise try to halt. 

Other Redditors advised the original poster to check in with their solar company about which existing warranties could alleviate their concern.

"Any damage to the roof where the solar panels are installed is covered," one person said. "Find out from the solar company what they offer for that and have a discussion with the HOA. Most times it's a lack of knowledge on their part." 

"Just sign the roof addendum and go with a big company that will stand behind their roof warranty," another suggested

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